Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Presented at “Textiles and Settlement: From the Plains Space to Cyber Space,” Textile Society of America 12th Biennial Symposium, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 6-9, 2010. Copyright 2010 Textile Society of America


When analyzing “socially responsible” along the supply-chain of apparel production, there has not been an emphasis on the purchase of findings used in production of clothing and how surplus items are used or discarded. Hawley (2006) describes the mechanical sorting of findings to assist in the post-consumer recycling of apparel to aid in reclaiming fiber from products. Her research raised the following questions: 1) What happens to these findings after they are removed from the garment? 2) Is it possible to use these items in wearable or fiber art projects? 3) Where are additional sources for obtaining or reclaiming surplus or discarded findings?

The author once worked for a jean manufacturer. As with many apparel companies an abundance of findings, purchased or provided by vendors, are not used in production. Often these items are given or sold to employees at a discount price instead of discarding them. In her wearable/fiber art series, Metalling with Fibers, the author explores the reuse of metal findings (i.e. buckles, washers, zipper pulls) in textile arts designed with computer technologies.

This paper will introduce a model for metal findings’ reuse in traditional textile arts (knitting, crocheting, and embroidery), suggest methods for integrating findings into textile art, and provide strategies for obtaining surplus findings. The author will also share examples of using computer aided design technologies to test the aforementioned model.

Hawley, J. (2006). “Digging for diamonds: A conceptual framework for understanding reclaimed textile products.” Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, Vol. 24 Issue 3, pp. 262-275.